Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Review: The Secret Child by Caroline Mitchell (audio)

Title: The Secret Child
Author: Caroline Mitchell
Series: DI Amy Winter, #2
Narrator: Elizabeth Knowelden
Published: March 2019, Brilliance Audio
Length: 9 hours 43 minutes
Source: Publisher

DI Amy Winter knows evil. She’s lived through it.

Four-year-old Ellen is snatched by a stranger in the dead of night. Her devastated mother, Nicole, receives four identical phials and a threatening note in a familiar scrawl that chills her to the bone. But she always knew this would happen. She’s been expecting it for years…

According to the note, one of the phials is poisoned. Nicole is given a deadly challenge: if she drinks one, the sadistic kidnapper will notify the police of Ellen’s location. The sender claims to be Luka Volkov but Luka is supposed to be dead, killed long ago in a fire that haunts all those involved.

DI Amy Winter is still reeling from the discovery that she is the daughter of a serial killer, and her childhood trauma only makes her more determined to bring Ellen home. When another child is taken, Amy finds herself in a race against time. To rescue the children, must she seek help from the one person she wants to forget…?

My thoughts:  This is the second book in Caroline Mitchell's newest series featuring DI Amy Winters and I love it! This is such a gripping series - the books really grab you and hold your interest, though I will say, they are dark and a bit disturbing, so be forewarned! 

DI Amy Winters is such a complex, complicated character. She is still dealing with the revelations that she learned in the first book. Now, while this book can be read as a stand-alone, and we are given a bit of the backstory here, I strongly urge you to read this series in order. It will just make this series stand out that much more. 

This latest installment deals with experimentation on children and really kept me glued to the pages the entire time. I wasn't sure where things were headed and I loved that the story is fast-paced and action-packed. Things move the entire time, yet having chapters narrated by the guilty party adds an eerie quality to the book. I love being able to get inside their bad guy's head and finding out their motivations.

I love how the book is perfectly balanced between the case and Amy's personal life. There is so much to discover about Amy and I think even after book 2 that we have only just become to scratch the surface. There is a lot going on in both and the book flows seamlessly back and forth between the two, though at times it seems that they do intersect. Intentions are not always pure and motivations are not always sane.

This book is filled with many twists and turns, in both the case and Amy's personal life, that really keep you on your toes. I found myself completely hooked from start to finish and couldn't wait to see how everything played out. I've long been a fan of Caroline's writing, but this series is really showing just how dark and diabolical she can get and I love it!!! I cannot wait to see what comes next for DI Amy Winters!

Audio thoughts: I had so much fun listening to this book and was glad to see that Elizabeth Knowelden was back to narrate it as she did the narration of the first book, which I also listened to. I'm a big fan of consistency, whenever possible, in series. Elizabeth did a great job with the voices and was consistent with the characters that carried over from book 1 to 2. I hope that for however long this series runs that she will continue to be the narrator!

Books in this series:
  1. Truth and Lies
  2. The Secret Child



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